Merseyside Police can confirm that David Churchill has today, Monday, 8 December, been sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty at a previous hearing to section 18 wounding, false imprisonment and arson with intent to endanger life.  He separately pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and abstracting electricity.

Churchill was arrested after a house fire in Norfolk Road, Maghull, at around 4am on Friday, 3 October.  He was questioned and subsequently charged with Section 18 wounding, false imprisonment and arson with intent to endanger life.

Detective Inspector Mark Smith, Sefton CID, lead the investigation.  He said: “David Churchill is a violent and sadistic offender who put his wife June through a truly horrific ordeal. 

“He imprisoned her, assaulted her, then set fire to their house, effectively leaving her homeless.  I believe it is only through her brave actions, trying to please and placate him whilst she was being held, that she avoided being killed.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the remarkable strength of character and fortitude that she has shown throughout this process.  I hope that today’s sentence provides her with some closure and allows her to try to move on with the rest of her life.

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“The fire started by Churchill also caused significant damage to the next door house, which had a family with two young children inside.  It’s only thanks to some quick thinking passers-by that they managed to escape and avoid serious injury.  Their life has been turned upside down and the children are still traumatised by what happened, so I hope the fact that Churchill is now facing significant time behind bars also provides them with some comfort.

“This sentence should send the clearest possible message to perpetrators of any form of domestic violence that we will do everything we can to bring them to justice and once they are before the courts they can expect to go to prison for a long time.

“We have a team of dedicated officers who are specially trained to deal with victims and we also work with independent advisers and advocates to make sure they are supported through every step of the criminal justice process.

“I know how hard it can be for people who are suffering abuse to come forward, but I would urge them not to suffer in silence.  If people can find the courage to speak out we will do everything we can to get them the help, support and justice they so desperately need and deserve.”

Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence or knows someone who they are concerned about should call 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.  People can also provide information to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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